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Mon Aug 10, 2015 at 07:21 PM PDT
O’Malley On Debate Schedule: 'What The Hell Kind Of Democratic Party Is This?'
Good for Martin O'Malley, calling out the gross partisanship displayed by the DNC's restricted debate schedule and rules keeping candidates from participating in other, non-DNC debates:
Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley criticized his party’s debate schedule on Monday, calling the format of six debates a “sad state of affairs.”
“I think that having more debates would certainly have all of the candidates take positions on issues,” O’Malley said in an interview with Boston Herald Radio...
“I’ve been very clear where I stand on Wall Street reform,” he added. “I’ve been clear about my plan to make sure that a debt-free college degree is something that’s within the means of every family in the United States, and I’ve been very clear about wanting to move, and putting out a plan to move our country to a 100% clean electric grid by 2050.”
The schedule of only six debates, fewer than in previous presidential years, and a rule disqualifying candidates from participating in the DNC debates if they participate in any others, blatantly favors those who are going in to the contest with high name recognition (i.e., Hillary Clinton) and disadvantages others who are currently less well known nationally.
O'Malley went on:
“And as the Democratic Party, I think it’s a sad state of affairs when the DNC — it tries to insert itself to cut off a Democratic debate,” he said. “We should not be a party that’s afraid to talk about the ideas that will get wages going up again instead of down. We shouldn’t be a party that’s afraid to talk about America’s role in the world and the lessons we’ve learned from these last very hard 14 to 15 years of conflict.”
“We have better solutions for the future than the other party has, and I think we’re making a huge mistake,” he continued. “If we cut off debate, if we tell the people of New Hampshire that we’ve become such an impoverished party that we can only afford one debate before the New Hampshire primary, what the hell kind of Democratic Party is this?”
Bernie Sanders, also disadvantaged by the DNC partisan rigging of the debate schedule, has also criticized the schedule:
"At a time when so many people in our country are giving up on the political process and the turnout is so low, when public consciousness about government is not high, I would like to see us be debating all over this country," he said. "I'd like to see the DNC have more debates. I would like to see labor union groups. I would like to see environmental groups, women's groups, gay groups...different constituencies, host events and have us debate. So I believe the more debates, the better."
The Republican debates are drawing record viewership. There's obviously great interest in the candidates for this presidential contest. Why is the DNC not capitalizing on it? Are they afraid of exposing the country to Democratic ideas instead of just leaving Republican ones out there without a contrast?
Or is it all about protecting Hillary, at the expense of making gains in spreading the message for the Democratic Party?
DNC, are you listening? We want more debates - lots of them, in all kinds of venues.
If you won't hold them, at least stop keeping the candidates hostage if others are willing to pick up the ball when you can't, or won't.
Posted by FourScore | Mon Aug 10, 2015, 11:25 PM (16 replies)
Sun Aug 09, 2015 at 04:36 PM PDT
Seattle's "Outside Agitators 206" & why they want to drive a wedge between BLM and Democrats
by Lefty Coaster
We shouldn't judge an important movement like Black Lives Matter by the the excesses of a radical faction within the BLM movement. The instigators of a strident protest who drove Bernie Sanders from a stage yesterday were from a group named Outside Agitators 206. They created a Black Lives Matter Seattle facebook page just 2 days ago. Outside Agitators 206 seems to be a group that regards electoral politics as a inconsequential. They focuses on BLM and driving a wedge between BLM Movement and the Democratic Party. Their facebook page links to a site named Black Agenda Report run by a man named Glen Ford that included this reveling passage:
To succeed, the Black Lives Matter Movement must transform the politics of Black America. By definition, that means declaring war on the Democratic Party, and forcing Black politicians and activists to choose between the Party and the people’s struggle.
As usual, the Democrats will try to make Black people more angry at the terminally racist Republican Party than at the police and local administration of their (typically) Democrat-run city. Hillary Clinton is already making noises of empathy with Blacks suffering under the urban police state. However, the Black Lives Matter movement has no institutional stake in the victory of either party, but is, in fact, locked in mortal political struggle with other Black people in the Democratic Party. These Black Democrats will insist on a truce, a cessation of agitation against national or local Democrats, until after the election.
Hat tip to kbman for his diary.
When I heard of the group's first disruptive protest against a Christmas Tree Lighting event in front of a downtown shopping mall my reaction was BOOYAH! What a great target for a BLM protest to select.
Now they've broadened their targets for protest to include the Democratic Party (Hillary not so much?). At this point anyone suggesting Bernie Sanders is neglecting the BLM issue is either not paying attention or lying. Apparently the Republican Party isn't in their sights because of its limited appeal to people of color.
I think this strategy is a recipe for disaster.
Electoral politics does have consequences.
Posted by FourScore | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 10:23 PM (69 replies)
Sat Aug 08, 2015 at 08:15 PM PDT
Political Awareness Matters: How Black Lives Matter Are Screwing Themselves -- And the Rest of Us
by Sean R Shealy
It's time to call out BLM: If you want to change policy, and the racist culture handed down from Washington, you are going to need to win 200 seats in congress, plus the presidency. Would you mind telling us your plan to do that?
Imagine: You are being attacked by a knife-wielding maniac.
"Help me!" you cry.
Suddenly someone hands you a knife.
But instead of being grateful, you look at the person who handed you the knife with withering derision and say, "Really? This little knife? This is pathetic!" And then you hurl the little blade out the window, leaving both of you unarmed and under attack.
This is what transpired at Netroots Nation and again in Seattle, when Black Lives Matter disrupted rallies for Senator Bernie Sanders.
Black Lives Matter needs to understand that Bernie Sanders, and progressives in general, are a minority within a minority.
Regarding Sanders, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said in an interview at Netroots, "Your progressive is not progressive enough. We need MORE."
Cullors statement reveals a profound lack of knowledge of the political landscape. In order to understand why this is so incredibly self-defeating, we must first be properly oriented.
This is the American political landscape:
To the far, far right is the Republican Party.
To the center-right is the corporate-mainstream of the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
To the center-left is the Congressional Progressive Caucus – with 68 seats out of 535 members of Congress.
And then, to the far, far left, are Michael Moore, Maxine Waters, and Bernie Sanders.
There simply is no left beyond that point. There's just a waterfall to nowhere at the end of the Earth.
Without rehashing Sander's campaign speeches, he is supporting every possible leftist value there is, just short of calling for guillotines for the American royalists who have overthrown our democracy.
And overthrow it, they have.
America is now an oligarchy. The laws that are being enacted are designed to shovel money to the elite and well-connected at the expense of the middle class and the poor. This includes militarization of the police, draconian drug laws, and the profitization of prisons, all of which disproportionately impact people of color.
Bernie Sanders consistently rails against all of this, and more importantly, he votes against it.
But he loses those votes – because there aren't enough progressives in congress to win them.
Many social media activists like to defiantly shout, 'I don't give a damn about the politics – just fix the damned problem!'
But this is not how government works, nor how policy is changed. What is needed
is a Political Reality Consultant.
Here is a concrete example: On BlackLivesMatter.com, the group has posted a list of demands (all of which sound perfectly reasonable, and by the way, perfectly in line with Bernie Sanders goals). One demand is this: "We demand freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the prison industrial complex."
Black Lives Matter needs someone who will say to them, "GREAT! So, in order to achieve your demand and get the laws changed, you're going to need a progressive president and progressive majorities in both houses. Right now you have Bernie Sanders in the Senate and 67 other progressive votes. So you'll need to keep those seats, and progressives need to win an additional 200 seats in congress, plus the presidency. Now what's your plan to do that?"
Does BLM have any idea how difficult this will be to achieve?
Do they understand that this has never been done before in American history – that progressives have never had the votes to change anything? Every bit of change we've ever achieved has come by changing the culture itself – and that is what we must do again. This is a Herculean task. In the age of Citizen's United, we're up against billionaires who already own all of the media.
The ironic tragedy of what happened at these events is that Bernie Sanders does have such a plan. He took to the national stage, and he's putting forth the values we share as progressives and justice activists. He's getting great traction. If things go incredibly well, he may be elected president.
And then will he change the laws?
No. He can't. There aren't enough progressives even running for office, let alone in office, to change the laws. If he's lucky the other 67 in the Progressive Caucus will keep their seats. But that still leaves us 200 votes short of changing anything.
One of the greatest tools available however, if we can get hold of it, is the Bully Pulpit of the White House. Franklin Delano Roosevelt used it relentlessly to expose the "economic royalists" who were eating America alive for the sake of profit, and preventing all progress.
For two solid years following the election of Bernie Sanders, he'll have a hostile congress, and nothing at all to do … except veto bad bills and point out the people and the moneyed interests behind these bad bills. He'll have all the time in the world to make a case for progressivism to the American people, to inspire progressives to run for office, and to ask for Americans to vote for them. And then, in the next election, we may be able to pick up those 200 seats we need to actually change the laws.
The frustration of the organizers of Black Lives Matter is understandable. But it also has to be understood that the conservative/corporate revolution that has now achieved such entrenched power began when Ronald Reagan gave his first campaign speech, on state's rights, in the town made famous in the movie Mississippi Burning. This was the beginning of the Republican strategy to use race to pit American workers against one another. Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and mass incarceration and Citizen's United all flow from that poison spring. Such is the power of speeches.
But we can give powerful speeches, too. Bernie is one of the best -- and he learned from the best, in listening to, and marching with, Dr. Martin Luther King.
Bernie didn't have to do that. He was a white guy living comfortably in New York. What need did he have to get involved with King, or with the struggle of black Americans?
But he chose to listen, to learn -- and then to help.
If Black Lives Matter wants to have an impact as lasting as King's, BLM activists are going to have to extend the same courtesy to people like Bernie Sanders, and to learn how the process works, and how to do the laborious work of gaining access to the levers of power.
Our opposition is incredibly powerful. We can't afford to lose a single hand -- black or white.
Instead of shouting each other down, let us lift one another up. PLEASE.
Posted by FourScore | Sun Aug 9, 2015, 12:46 AM (130 replies)
43 mins ·
The Republican debates are over. Not one word about income and wealth inequality, climate change, Citizens United or student debt. That's why the Republicans are so out of touch with the American people. What I heard was more tax breaks for the rich, more people losing health insurance and more talk about war. This is not what we need.
Like Comment Share
You and 60,639 others like this.
Within 43 minutes, it already has over 60,000 likes and over 17,000 shares. Not only that, I started to post this at 41 minutes when it had just over 57,000 likes. I was interrupted for a couple of minutes, and within those 2 minutes another 3,000 people "liked" his post.
ON EDIT: For those who are on facebook and want to like/share Bernie's post, here's the link.
SECOND EDIT: LOVE THE TOP 2 REPLIES:
Debbie Drinkwater: Wait, that was a debate? I thought SNL was just back on Thursday night again.
Like · Reply · 4,492 · 1 hr
58 Replies · 8 mins
Luis Ruuska: Donald Trump is really proud that although some the companies he ran went bankrupt, he never lost his personal wealth. I love that. Just the kind of person we need in the White House!
Like · Reply · 3,088 · 1 hr
128 Replies · 9 mins
Posted by FourScore | Thu Aug 6, 2015, 11:07 PM (10 replies)
Wed Aug 05, 2015 at 06:47 AM PDT
No, Debbie, *Here's* Who We Need To Watch *(UPDATED X 2!!!)
I got an email yesterday from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the DNC, titled "Here's who we need to watch." It was an email that was actually advertising the GOP Primary Debate tomorrow night! Here's the whole thing:
Donald Trump. Jeb Bush. Scott Walker. Mike Huckabee. Ben Carson. Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio. Rand Paul. Chris Christie. John Kasich.
It's official: This is the GOP's A-team -- the 10 candidates who get to be on stage in the primetime slot on Thursday.
We already know that any one of these top Republican contenders would be a disastrous choice for president. That's why I'm going to be on the ground in Cleveland, watching closely so we're ready to fight back early and often.
RSVP here if you're planning on watching, too.
Here's what we know we can expect: Mudslinging at each other and promises to undo all the progress President Obama and Democrats have made over the last seven years. That's why we need our most committed supporters to be on the lookout with us and help push back. And that's exactly where you come in, Bruce.
Can we count on you to tune in on Thursday? Just click here and we'll send you a reminder (and you'll get access to play our online GOP Bingo game!):
We couldn't do this without you, Bruce.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic National Committee
Jesus. What a joke. Except it's not a joke.
Can we count on you to tune in on Thursday? Just click here and we'll send you a reminder (and you'll get access to play our online GOP Bingo game!)
So the Chair of the DNC, in a brilliant strategic move, is encouraging Democrats to inflate the ratings of the FOX News network as they go about the business of promoting the personalities and policies of the GOP Presidential field??? And she's hoping we'll use the DNC's Bingo game to make a fun night out of it???
This is not a game, Debbie, it's the most critical political juncture in the history of the world (and that's not even close to hyperbole) and your plan is for us to sit down with popcorn and Bingo cards and have some fun! Meanwhile, the whole country (and the world) is going to be subjected, without a countervailing event from the Democrats, to the distortions of the John Birch Society that has rebranded itself as the Modern GOP.
That's why I'm going to be on the ground in Cleveland, watching closely so we're ready to fight back early and often.
Notes to Debbie:
1) "Early" is passing us by. As of this date in 2007, the Dems had already had 6 POTUS candidate debates, with 3 more upcoming in just the next two weeks of that cycle. So much for "early."
2) "Often"??? How often? You've "scheduled" only 6 DNC Primary debates in total for the whole Primary season! In 2008, with Howard Dean chairing the DNC, there were 26 Dem primary debates, 20 more than you're seeing fit to hold. So much for "often."
3) "So we're ready to fight back?" What? We're not ready yet and we have to subject ourselves to what you correctly point out will be a tired rehash of the failed policies and character assassinations we've endured for decades? If we're not already "ready," we're in very deep shit, Debbie.
It's been 3 full months since you "scheduled" the DNC Primary debates, Debbie, and I'm putting quotes around "scheduled" because you haven't scheduled even one of them so far, only made vague promises that the first one will be this Fall. Fall officially ends on December 21, so if you keep slow-walking this, we might not see a Dem debate till just before Christmas.
Over the fold, I will get to the underlying problem.
Who we need to watch, Debbie, are the Dem Candidates juxtaposed to the GOP wrecking crew, in a debate setting where the country and the world can actually observe the difference between the two sets of candidates, one set proposing policies and ideas that will benefit the entire country and our environment, and the other intent on driving us off the multiple cliffs we're headed toward right now.
And no, it won't be enough for just you to stand in front of a FOX microphone after the debate tomorrow and present the Dem perspective as if you're representing all the Dem candidates. You are not neutral with respect to the Democratic field; we know that your loyalties lie with just one of them because you were her campaign co-chair in '08 and the main reason you're still chairing the DNC after the historic debacle of the 2014 midterms is because Hillary can count on you to run interference for her. That's exactly why we don't have DNC debates scheduled yet, because they're perceived as a liability for Hillary.
How do I know this? because Hillary began to lose her lead to Obama in an '07 debate and never got her momentum back. On October 7, CNN published a poll that showed Hillary 30 points ahead of Obama (a similar spread to yesterday's WSJ/NBC poll that has Hillary and Bernie 35 points apart). Then, two weeks later on October 30, there was a Dem primary debate in Philadelphia where Hillary stumbled badly on two items: immigration (she tried to straddle the issue of whether illegal aliens should be give drivers licenses) and secrecy (around the issue of Bill telling the National Archives not to release any communications between the two of them till 2012, which she tried to palm off on "the process").
Following that debate, in which Hillary was considered the loser, polling began to dramatically shift in Obama's direction. On January 5, just before the NH primary and on the heels of Obama's IA win, there was the Nashua NH "change" and "likeability" debate, following which polling showed Clinton and Obama tied.
Now there was obviously a lot more going on in the contest than just the debates, but it's incontrovertible that Obama's eventual Primary victory was aided in large part by the debate process. This is why we now have the slow-walking of the 2016 Dem debates. The longer they wait the greater the chance that Bernie will stumble and become irrelevant. He's already stumbled a few times and recovered, but a debate is a situation where Hillary can stumble, as she's shown she can do in the past, and that's a chance the DNC is trying to avoid till the very last minute.
It's time to give us a real contest, Debbie. It's time to stop favoring you favored candidate. It's time for the Dems to debate each other so that the country can compare us to the GOP, and time to stop letting them have the nationally televised stage all to themselves.
UPDATE: I just caught a news item from the Daily Beast that indicates the DNC will be announcing the debate schedule in a week or so. We'll see what happens. Not counting chickens just yet.
2:04 PM PT: IMPORTANT UPDATE!! voteforbernie.org is sponsoring a #WeWantDebate social media effort now. Go to their site and do your thing! http://voteforbernie.org/debate/
Posted by FourScore | Wed Aug 5, 2015, 05:32 PM (83 replies)
I am trying to embed this tweet of Bernie Sanders and seem unable to do so. Can someone tell me how it's done? Thanks!
Martin Luther King Jr: "This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor"
by VL Baker
9:46 AM - 28 Jul 2015
Bernie SandersVerified account
Eugene Robinson, in the Washington Post has written about Martin Luther King's Jr. visionary achievement in articulating inequality as a focus for his advocacy before he gave the ultimate sacrifice on that tragic day April 4,1968 in Memphis, TN.
Nearly five decades later, King’s words on the subject still ring true. On March 10, 1968, just weeks before his death, he spoke to a union group in New York about what he called “the other America.” He was preparing to launch a Poor People’s Campaign whose premise was that issues of jobs and issues of justice were inextricably intertwined.
“One America is flowing with the milk of prosperity and the honey of equality,” King said. “That America is the habitat of millions of people who have food and material necessities for their bodies, culture and education for their minds, freedom and human dignity for their spirits. . . . But as we assemble here tonight, I’m sure that each of us is painfully aware of the fact that there is another America, and that other America has a daily ugliness about it that transforms the buoyancy of hope into the fatigue of despair.”
Those who lived in the other America, King said, were plagued by “inadequate, substandard and often dilapidated housing conditions,” by “substandard, inferior, quality-less schools,” by having to choose between unemployment and low-wage jobs that didn’t even pay enough to put food on the table.
The problem was structural, King said: “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.”
Lest We Forget...
Posted by FourScore | Wed Aug 5, 2015, 11:44 AM (5 replies)
Mon Aug 03, 2015 at 09:13 PM PDT
C'mon, you must've suspected all along!
Posted by FourScore | Tue Aug 4, 2015, 12:07 AM (3 replies)
Thu Jul 30, 2015 at 10:43 PM PDT
Rebecca Watson: 'Planned Parenthood is Not Selling Baby Parts, You F*cking Idiots'
by Leslie Salzillo
By now, most of the country has heard about the 'undercover' videos taped by so-called 'pro-life' activists from the Right Wing political organization Center For Medical Progress. The released footage is aimed at smearing, defunding, and shutting down Planned Parenthood. In addition to several videos referred to as 'new lows' by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, the anti-choice have also hacked the organization's website. The attack campaign is slanderous, insidious, and misleading. I could go on, but instead I'm going to step aside and let blogger Rebecca Watson explain the truth and insanity of the situation. Watson founded Skepchick in 2005, describing it as "an organization dedicated to promoting skepticism and critical thinking among women around the world." You can support more videos like this at patreon.com/rebecca.
Here is Watson's transcript followed by the video:
Planned Parenthood is in the news a lot these days thanks to a maliciously edited video making it look like they SELL BABY PARTS.
It’s weird for those of us with two brain cells to rub together, that this is even a thing. Because first of all, obviously Planned Parenthood doesn’t sell BABY PARTS. Jesus fucking christ, get a hold of yourselves. Baby parts!
3% of all Planned Parenthood’s activities are abortions, and more than 90% of those are in the first trimester when it’s about size of a kidney bean, so they do see some pieces of fetal tissue. Which are just going to be thrown away in the garbage, but which the patient can instead choose to donate to important medical research.
HOW DARE THEY! How dare Planned Parenthood allow women to aid in the research and treatment of conditions like H.I.V. and Parkinson’s disease, when instead those women could just be throwing that tissue in the garbage!
So yeah, there’s the fact that Planned Parenthood obviously isn’t “selling baby parts.” And then there’s the fact that the group releasing this video are some of the same people who worked for the group Live Action, which is best known for…editing together misleading videos attacking Planned Parenthood.
So despite the fact that this is an obviously made up and ridiculous accusation, actual politicians are taking it seriously. If you live in the US, your tax dollars are now going toward Congressional Republicans calling for a formal investigation, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee has announced they’ll launch a probe. A probe for baby parts! Good luck, guys!
This all reminds me of a course I took in college on heresy. I remember learning about how multiple times throughout human history, various groups of people have been accused of the very specific act of gathering together and hosting orgies, and then taking the resulting babies from any past orgies and burning them into ashes, which are then formed into cakes, which are then eaten. Usually it’s supposed to be the Jews doing this but plenty of other marginalized groups have been accused as well. And it always baffled me to think that people could really, truly believe that their fellow humans were doing something so obviously stupid and made up.
Well, now it’s 2015 and an organization that is mostly responsible for making sure poor women have access to basic medical care including cancer screenings, checkups, and birth control, are accused of convincing women to abort their babies and then tearing them into parts and selling them on the black market.
And I realize, that if it helps you achieve your goals — whether they be persecuting people of a different faith or cutting funding for poor women’s health care — it becomes surprisingly easy to believe something unbelievable.
Here is the video:
Thank you, Rebecca Watson.
If you've ever considered supporting Planned Parenthood, this would be a crucial time to get involved/contribute. To make a secured Planned Parenthood donation visit: Planned Parenthood Federation of America or call: 800-798-7092
Posted by FourScore | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 08:16 PM (22 replies)
Fill out the questionnaire about how you can help, ie phone calls, social media, etc.
It will take a revolution of people to beat the big money involved in this election. He can't do it alone!!
Posted by FourScore | Wed Jul 29, 2015, 11:19 PM (10 replies)
Tue Jul 28, 2015 at 10:28 AM PDT
Kansas City hotel manager hangs black doll from doorway in office to mock Sandra Bland
by Shaun King
This, ladies and gentlemen, is your America.
A white hotel manager of the Adams Mark Hotel in Kansas City hung a black slave doll from the doorway of the office with a garbage bag in an apparent mocking of the death of Sandra Bland.
In searching for eloquent words to explain this bullshit, I have few.
American racism is deep, sick, and flagrant.
In your mind, I dare you to rewind to the moment in which this asshole, a white supervisor with black employees no less, conceived the idea, gathered the materials, and proceeded to act on his instinct to do such a thing.
It's sick and this man should be charged with a federal hate crime. Termination is not enough.
Our country, sadly, is either regressing, or the outer facade is just being torn away and we're starting to see the deeper, uglier soul of this nation. Below are some of the first tweets covering the incident.
FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR TWITTER RESPONSES: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/07/28/1406527/-Kansas-City-hotel-manager-hangs-black-doll-from-doorway-in-office-to-mock-Sandra-Bland?showAll=yes#
Posted by FourScore | Wed Jul 29, 2015, 09:58 PM (6 replies)